• Charli

Wellness Matters 21.05.2022

May You Never*

There is much to be grateful for as leaves continue to unfurl on trees and bushes filling our senses with scents and sights from the multitude of flowers bursting open. I love Mayflower blossom, Cow Parsley, and bouncy Bluebells nestling among pinks, purples and oranges of tulips, geranium and primula peering from hedgerows and standing proud in well tended borders.

For me, Spring is the perfect time of year because the air is warming up, the sea is significantly warmer than 2 months ago, and I am naturally energised and hopeful.

During May I participated in an enlightening session hosted by St Columba’s Hospice, focusing on specific rites and rituals when members of Sikh, Muslim, Jewish and Buddhist communities die. Each faith or religion follow traditional steps to ensure that the soul is free to go, the remaining body is treated with care and dignity, while the family receives support, love and respect for their grief.

I have had a few conversations with friends and family about the need to articulate our wishes before death inevitably takes us away. There is nothing to be afraid of, and by speaking honestly and open heartedly, with tenderness and compassion, we can have the send off we all deserve. I have written my will and in it detailed instructions of how I want my life to be celebrated.

Participating in the Malcolm Goldsmith Lecture featuring Kathryn Mannix in conversation with Richard Holloway, was another enlightening moment for me. Kathryn has a gentle, welcoming and warm approach when discussing death and dying and I am taking great pleasure from reading her book: With The End In Mind, a collection of family stories, and tender conversations about death and dying.

I have also been watching This is Us on Prime Video, and as one of the characters nears the end of their life, the family find themselves having to make very difficult decisions about what is best for their care, living arrangements and last wishes. The protagonist alleviates some of this pressure by writing a detailed, comprehensive plan of how things are to be. Ultimately this allows the family to enjoy the remaining life they have left.

Last week I was with Columba 1400’s East Lothian Leadership Academies and this time we had Primary 7 pupils who are gearing up to transition to High School. They are naturally nervous and have a lot riding on their shoulders, facing what can feel like a gargantuan leap of faith, especially after two years of uncertainty through the pandemic where their primary schools became a source of support and comfort.

We will reconnect with them in August and we hope, that by celebrating their worth through core values and leadership qualities, the process will be less traumatic than they anticipate.

I am a wee bit behind with the family story, but am determined to get back on track so that a draft version can be sent to the family for approval. My deadline for completion of this draft is June 7th and, I don’t mind admitting it is going to take a lot of perseverance and commitment to avoid life’s inevitable distractions! But I’m writing and I love it. It is my passion project.

Have a great week, be well, live your best life, plan for your unique end, and don’t be afraid to have a tender conversation.

Happy Birthday Mum, I love you.

*May You Never by John Martyn

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